For some of the easier trail running options in the Coachella Valley, the Coachella Valley Preserve is a great option. The 17,000-acre preserve and the adjacent 880-acre Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve are located just northeast of the center of Palm Desert. Most of the preserve is in a valley, with numerous trails that make for easy to moderate trail running. Pro Tip: Try to catch the Preserve during a desert wildflower bloom. See our ‘Desert Blooms‘ List for info & annual calendars.
One can put together several miles combining the main trails off Thousand Palms Canyon Rd. These desert trails in the valley feature great views of the valley’s myriad colors and the surrounding mountains. The trails on the west side of Thousand Palms Canyon Rd. (McCallum, Indio Palms, Willis Palm) are favorites — oasis-like, leading to palm groves. They’re generally flatter and can be sandy. On the east side, trails like Pushawalla Palms can be a bit harsher and rockier.
Note that the terrain is very open and it can be occasionally difficult to make out the specific trail — keep an eye our for cairns! Also, very exposed — use caution in the heat! There’s a visitor center and restrooms off Thousand Palms Canyon Rd. (but no water!). Note that the Preserve has set opening hours and some trails might be closed when the Preserve is closed.
- Many miles of trails in the park
- 300 feet
- Various trailheads, or use Visitor Ctr. as an anchor
- Visitor Center & Parking off Thousand Palms Canyon Rd.